More Rites Of Spring

I really don’t know where I’m heading with this “rites of spring” theme. But here are some more links.

1. Symbolist-inspired children’s author Lemony Snicket has announced the impending publication of the final book in the Series of Unfortunate Events series. Apparently Daniel Handler is moving on to other things, and we’ll check out whatever he does next. My kids went crazy for these books, and they have pretty good taste. I read the first installment and was extremely impressed; these books are packaged like cheap Harry Potter knockoffs, but in fact they are deeply odd shaggy-dog stories, intriguingly gothic and, more than anything else, very funny. Well done, Snicket.

2. Here’s another New York event I am really looking forward to: PEN World Voices, April 25-30. Look at this list of international authors: Chinua Achebe, Esther Allen, Martin Amis, Margaret Atwood, Staceyann Chin, E. L. Doctorow, Raymond Federman, Henry Louis Gates, Nadine Gordimer, Philip Gourevitch, David Grossman, Ayaan Hirsi Ali, Christopher Hitchens, Bob Holman, Moses Isegawa, Elias Khoury, Larry Kramer, Philip Lopate, Norman Manea, Patrick McGrath, Ritu Menon, Rick Moody, Toni Morrison, Naomi Shihab Nye, Orhan Pamuk, Willie Perdomo, Salman Rushdie, George Saunders, Zadie Smith, Robert Stone, Jeanette Winterson. Who am I most looking forward to seeing? That would be Orhan Pamuk, maybe just because I will feel for 45 minutes like a character in one of his self-referential tales.

3. Via the newly designed Golden Rule Jones, spoken word recordings by the great hippie surrealist Richard Brautigan are available for free download at a new site devoted to the author.

4. Here are two enjoyable links of a classical nature. Chaucer has a blog apparently, and that’s got to be what the game’s been missing. Then, somebody has translated a Shakespeare passage into ActionScript. Which is very cool, except for one thing: ActionScript? That’s so 2003. Oh well … I guess Shakespeare was so 1594.

5. Three years ago this week.

6 Responses

  1. not really about literature,
    not really about literature, but…

    Three years ago on this web site, I made a naive comment that maybe oil was not the main reason we sent soldiers to Iraq. I now believe, based on considerable research into the history of petroleum in the world, that oil is, in fact, the reason all these people are dead. If I were the President, even if I thought my motives were pure, I would be so burdened by this death and destruction that I could not imagine laughing and joking the way Bush does. I don’t recall Abraham Lincoln trying to be funny during the Civil War. I don’t recall Jimmy Carter smiling glibly about the hostage crisis.

  2. Lemony SnicketEver since you
    Lemony Snicket

    Ever since you recommended Lemony Snicket, my kids and I have been studiously reading them one after another.

    We just started the 12th book, and I must say, though enjoyable reads with all those literary refs to keep me interested, the last few got a little laborious. I think he just kept them too long. They should’ve been edited down to a more brisk 175-200 pages rather than beefing them up to 300+.

    But all in all we have enjoyed them. The kids still ask me to read them and we are looking forward to when the last one comes out…

    Then we’ll move on to… what, I don’t know?

  3. Hey, that’s cool to know the
    Hey, that’s cool to know the LitKicks recommendation actually helped!

    What’d you and your kids think of the movie with Jim Carrey? We thought it was quite good.

  4. I like the movie, haven’t
    I like the movie, haven’t read any of the books.

    Speaking of children’s books, I got a letter from Madeleine L’Engle’s assistant a few days ago. I had sent a question to her by email, asking if she was influenced by the book Flatland by Edwin Abbott Abbott. Ms. L’Engle was unable to reply personally due to her health, but her assistant wrote me a nice reply.

  5. Yeah we liked the movie ok –
    Yeah we liked the movie ok – love Jim Carrey.

    I think it was actually the first time my kids saw the truth behind the mantra ‘the book is better than the movie’.

  6. Thanksfor the Brautigan link.

    for the Brautigan link. I only just discovered him a couple years ago. His books make me happy.

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